SOLON City Council was expected to approve legislation this week to build a 198-foot temporary meteorology tower to study air currents for possible wind energy turbines in the future.
“The whole purpose of this study is to see if wind energy has any potential in Solon,” Public Works Director Jim Stanek told the Planning Commission last week. “We have been approached by folks in the past to see if anything’s been done. We think it’s a valuable study.”
Apparently so do state officials, who awarded one of three annual grants to the city and its partner on the project Swagelok Inc., on whose property the wind-measuring anemometer and tower will be installed.
It’s a project Stanek said the city has been involved with for three years. Also attending last week’s Planning Commission meeting was Edward Bayer, who was appointed Director of Sustainability for Swagelok in December.
Swagelok’s goal is to find ways “to reduce worldwide energy consumption and evaluate alternative energy sources.“
The location would be along F.A. Lennon Drive, off of Cochran and Solon roads in the city’s industrial sector. Once built, officials don’t expect the tower to remain up for any longer than 24 months.
“We get a good west prevailing wind, with the landfill being cleared,“ Stanek told the Planning Commission. “We’ll have a pretty good shot at unimpeded wind, which should provide for a perfect setting.“
It is also considered an “ideal location“ because it is a safe distance away from neighborhoods. Planning Commission Director William Mazur recommended streamers being hung on the guy wires supporting the tower to deter any ATV riders.
“This is one of the best opportunities available to perform a study of this kind,” Stanek said.
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